Committee Forwards Panetta Nomination to Senate
The Senate Armed Services Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to favorably report the nomination of Leon Panetta for secretary of defense to the Senate for final approval. He is widely expected to gain confirmation there.
If he is confirmed, Panetta, currently the director of the CIA, faces the daunting challenge of cutting at least $400 billion from the Pentagon’s budget by 2023. One decision to be made shortly — how fast to draw down troops from Afghanistan — may not produce as much savings as many had hoped. Whether President Obama decides to bring back 5,000 troops or 30,000, the cost of the Afghanistan campaign will not drop significantly, reports the National Journal.